Questions tagged [archaeology]

For questions about the study of the physical remains of humans and human activity.

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20
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2answers
4k views

What is known about the Ubaid lizard-people figurines?

I find the Ubaid lizard-people figurines visually captivating. But for obvious reasons it's difficult to search for information about them online without wading chest deep through pages of ancient ...
-4
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2answers
145 views

What made the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb such a significant archeological find? [closed]

The discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt is often regarded as one of the most notable archeological finds of recent history, and is certainly one of the most famous ones. Before its discovery ...
5
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0answers
288 views

Has this rock been engineered by humans and, if so, what was its use?

I found this rock in my garden (Cheshire, UK) and wondered whether it had been fashioned by humans for some use. If so what was it used for and what is its history? The two largest holes on either ...
6
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0answers
181 views

What is this decorative metal object with overlapping squares?

Can anyone identify this object? Found in a rockpool, exposed at low tide, just East of the entrance to Plymouth Sound, South West UK. It feels like it's made of metal. There's a square in the centre ...
5
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8answers
723 views

Were ancient people interested in archaeology?

Before the establishment of the field of archaeology, which is said here to have originated in 15th and 16th century Europe, surely ancient peoples were also curious about those who came before them ...
8
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1answer
385 views

Are there any archeological finds or primary source drawings of the Chinese “blade shaped” bamboo-copter or rotary fans?

Bamboo-copter was a toy in China, dated to 400 BC. A Rotary Fan also existed in China around 180 AD. I'm interested in both of those things, as they work on the exact same principle. Do we have any ...
39
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4answers
3k views

What is the historical basis for the Exodus?

As a sideline to the question How Long Did the Belief in the Egyptian Sun God Ra Last?, the comments have become a long discussion on the historicity of the Exodus. Rather than have pages of comments ...
14
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1answer
4k views

Why do people still leave flowers at the Temple of Julius Caesar?

I visited Rome recently and did an audio tour through the Colosseum and Roman Forum archeological sites. In the Roman Forum there is the remains of the Temple of Caesar, where Julius Caesar was ...
13
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2answers
890 views

How do archaeologists date cave paintings?

Imagine I get hold on 15000 yr old pigments and I draw an iguana next to a bison at "Altamira Caves"... how does one know that that drawing wasn't made 15000 years back? Would people then start saying ...
3
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1answer
268 views

What mining feature is this?

In a former lead mining region of Derbyshire (Just North of Wirksworth) there's this bank of earth running across the side of a hill, with a small "valley" alongside it: It's about 15-20m ...
6
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2answers
471 views

Are parts of the Sphinx older than 5000 years?

Are parts of the Great Sphinx of Giza more than 5000 years old? There was a controversy about this question 15 years ago on which I didn't find anything to conclusively prove or debunk it.
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2answers
924 views

Could there be frozen animals under Antarctica's ice sheets?

Similar to how we occassionally dig up frozen mammoths from the Siberian permafrost, could there be animals and plants frozen under the Antarctic ice sheets? I understand that at various times in the ...
18
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2answers
987 views

How do we know that prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies were egalitarian?

In the Wikipedia article on Patriarchy it says: Anthropological, archaeological, and evolutionary psychological evidence suggests that most prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies were relatively ...
6
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1answer
385 views

What are the dimensions of this pomerium marker?

The pomerium of Vespasian from 75AD (pictured below) was moved to Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome in the 20th century. What are its dimensions, and what is its height, measuring from street level to ...
5
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1answer
272 views

Is there any estimate for expected life of 'ordinary' or 'poor' people in middle ages after surviving infancy?

I tried to do my own research on this and according to paper I found: Life expectancy at birth was a brief 25 years during the Roman Empire, it reached 33 years by the Middle Ages and raised up to 55 ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Where can I find reliable primary sources written by Ancient Egyptian laborers?

I am working on a Year 12 New Kingdom Pharaoh assignment. I have chosen Ramesses II and must determine if he was an effective king. I have decided that he was, but now I just have to provide the ...
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0answers
103 views

Are there examples of African/European/American hunter-gatherer's constructions?

Often people think about hunter-gatherers as primitives. "Dark Emu" book is a great example of popular history book that refutes those beliefs. Aboriginal constructions could be quite ...
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1answer
198 views

What's the primary theory behind tracks in the stone around the world? [closed]

What's the primary theory behind tracks in the stone around the world? Even if they are ancient roads, why there are no traces from the horses or other animals that should be in the middle? Turkey: ...
28
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5answers
6k views

Why were there no agricultural, city-state forming civilizations in the Ice Age?

In spite of various fringe historians claiming to have found remains of Ice Age civilizations on lost continents, Atlantis and what not, there is - to the best of my knowledge - no tangible evidence ...
13
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4answers
800 views

Does the Kimmirut find indicate pre-Viking Europeans traveling to Baffin Island?

A 2008 article from the Nunatsiaq News claimed there was new evidence of European contact with the Canadian Arctic, saying things like: Dating of some yarn and other artifacts, presumed to be left ...
4
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1answer
189 views

Why did ancient cultures (e.g. the Mesopotamians) use sexagesimal?

Why did ancient cultures, such as the Mesopotamians, use sexagesimal (base-60)? I've been doing some reading on this, and there seems to be no consensus. Of course, it's rare that there's perfect ...
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2answers
328 views

Why does the Ħaġar Qim seem to have drilled holes / pitted dots on its stoneworks?

Does anyone have any idea or knowledge why Neolithic temple stones have these small holes? They are facing the sun, and the other side of the stones is flat. Smaller object were drilled all over, not ...
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0answers
93 views

Is there any evidence that people in the late Pleistocene understood that their environment was changing?

Of all the periods of geographic and climactic transformation our planet has undergone, the late Pleistocene is of particular interest to historians, since it was the first to be witnessed by human ...
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0answers
157 views

What is the emblem on this ring?

After cleaning up a local cave, among lots of trash this ring was found laying underneath. Can anyone identify this emblem? Location: Center, Israel
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2answers
1k views

Is the ancient altar with petroglyphs at the foot of Jabal Maqla Mt. Sinai?

Lately there has been an increasing awareness among biblical scholars that Mt. Sinai is in Arabia and not in the Sinai peninsula as has been previously thought. Jabal Maqla (or Jabal Al Lawz as the ...
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0answers
59 views

Where can I find illustrations online depicting Idrisi's coffer in the Queen's chamber in the “Khufu” pyramid

I believe I have found sufficient evidence that points to a block of stone, not necessarily a coffer as stated by Idrisi, being inside the niche in the Queen's Chamber blocking the entrance to the ...
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2answers
1k views

Are there known completely sealed chambers in Egyptian pyramids?

According to new measurements, there likely is a large hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid (Paper). There is already speculation about its contents, with people looking at religious sources the ...
6
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1answer
299 views

Are there any hypotheses on how the Dorset people disappeared?

I read an article about how anthropologists have discovered artifacts from an ancient Arctic culture known as the Dorset that disappeared centuries ago and were the precursors to the Inuit in the ...
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1answer
162 views

What does this Swedish sonar image depict? [closed]

I am wondering what conclusions can be drawn from this sonar image. The object is sunk in a river, of unknown age, and not examined. Width 5,5 m Length 15,6 m Depth 9,7-9,2 m The image was taken ...
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0answers
58 views

Was any object from Anza's expeditions conserved?

In the 1770s, Juan Bautista de Anza led two overland expeditions from Sinaloa to Alta California. The first was for reconnaissance and the second, larger and better known, for the purpose of ...
6
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0answers
138 views

What was the architectural predecessor of Roman triumphal arches?

Roman triumphal arches (fornix, ianus, then arcus triumphalis) are generally categorized into two main types: those with a single arched opening (e.g. Arch of Titus) and those with three openings (e.g....
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1answer
167 views

What is the oldest discovered Neanderthal boat or raft? [closed]

I read how there is evidence that Neanderthals used to sail on the Mediterranean using primitive 'boats'. Have we discovered any of these boats, and if we have, what is the oldest of these Neanderthal ...
4
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1answer
159 views

Why so many old remains of different animals and almost no remains of humans [closed]

There are so many fossils of dinosaurs 70, 100, 200 million years ago, and no remains of human ancestors like Orrorin. If we assume that is size, but there are plenty of other examples of much smaller ...
11
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1answer
885 views

Has Mohenjo-daro been reconstructed?

What is the extent of current knowledge on the physical structure of the city of Mohenjo Daro? Have all possible roads and buildings (possibly in 3D) been reconstructed? Do we completely know the ...
5
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2answers
160 views

What is the definition, usage, and etymology of “Sandy ware”?

Wikipedia has the category "Sandy ware in the Portable Antiquities Scheme" Is it a kind of pottery? Or a type of coating for pottery? That's what I would understand from this page. What would it have ...
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2answers
173 views

Why are the Corded Ware and Kurgan theories incompatible?

Why can't the Corded Ware Culture be a part of the Kurgan hypothesis of the PIE Urheimat? These two things overlap in time and place. Gambutas included the Corded Ware culture in her theory. I'm not ...
6
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1answer
540 views

What exactly is a Tang dynasty 壺 (pot)?

I have asked this question on Chinese Stack Exchange but received no satisfactory answer there so far. I think it is relevant to the History Stack Exchange and will link these two questions together. ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Chinese legendary figures with European appearance [closed]

I've been fascinated by the discovery of the Indo-European origin of the mummies in the Tarim basin. This article says: The new finds are also forcing a reexamination of old Chinese books that ...
13
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3answers
343 views

What are early archeological clues of humans boiling food?

Over the course of my life I have seen several large, dangerous fires. Unfortunate animals often perish in these. Especially slower ones, such as turtles. Surely, it can not have been difficult for ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Is there a difference between “post-medieval” and “modern”?

Is there a difference between "post-medieval" and "modern"? Many of the items in the UK's Portable Antiquities Scheme mention "post-medieval or modern period" and even "post-medieval or early modern ...
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2answers
840 views

Why do very old arts (paintings, sculptures) look pretty inaccurate and abstract? [closed]

I have been looking at arts (drawings, sculptures) from different archeological periods (40000BC up to now). A pattern that I have picked up consistently when looking at arts from these periods is ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What does BPE/PE in some archaeology journals stand for?

Apparently, this is an acronym for reckoning time period instead of using the usual BC-AD or BCE-CE. The journal I am referring to is archeo sciences. Here's a snippet of the article: I've looked ...
42
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3answers
8k views

Earliest evidence of objects intended for future archaeologists?

In modern times, it is not unusual for people to wonder what, if anything, will archeologists of the future (human or otherwise) will learn about our civilization from various artifacts we leave ...
5
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2answers
618 views

Why there is no Islamic architecture with glass in windows before 18th century?

Why there is no Islamic architecture with glass in windows before 18th century? Glass windows frequently appear in gothic architecture since 11th century but why Medieval Islamic architecture lack ...
11
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1answer
318 views

What sources could Tacitus or Appian have used that have since been lost?

I was fascinated by the announcement of the 'virtual unrolling' of a fire-burned scroll in En-Gedi that has been analysed and found to be part of the book of Leviticus. As the Guardian noted, the ...
3
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1answer
236 views

Has the drought also revealed ancient structures in France as it did in Ireland?

I was wondering whether the drought has also revealed ancient structures in France as it did in Ireland (see the BBC article Dry weather reveals ancient site in Meath's Boyne Valley). I searched the ...
5
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1answer
103 views

Are “I, II, III, …” versions of archaeological versioning of layers unique to Troy?

When reading about archaeological research on Troy, one can see that archeologists distinguish between different discrete numbered layers (Troy I => Troy IX). Is that a standard approach in ...
7
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1answer
419 views

Formation of underground layers of Rome

I have recently came across several news articles (for example) from various decades, talking about existing underground structures in the city of Rome, which used to be above ground at some point of ...
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4answers
553 views

Troy: How could a city be built on top of an older one?

As far as I know, archaeological excavation discovered several layers of the city of Troy, each one built on top of the ruins of the older ones. I just can imagine how that might have happened. One ...
4
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1answer
199 views

How can a megalith be dated via the C14 method?

Technically this is pre-history, but maybe someone can answer this. I was listening to a podcast about the spread of megalithic structures in Europe. A modern basis of research on this is the dating ...